Living with Atrial Fibrillation: A Family Perspective

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  • Stine Rosenstrøm
  • Signe Stelling Risom, Københavns Universitet, University College Copenhagen, Danmark
  • Jens Dahlgaard Hove, Københavns Universitet, Danmark
  • Anne Brødsgaard

Aim. The aim of this study was to obtain insights from patients and their family members on how families are living with atrial fibrillation. Background. Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and is often described as an emerging global epidemic affecting an estimated 33.5 million people worldwide. Living with atrial fibrillation not only affects the patient but also may negatively influence family members' perceived health. The perspective of the family has previously been understudied, and more knowledge on how patients and their family members cope and adjust to life with atrial fibrillation may be helpful when developing future support for patients and their family members when coping with atrial fibrillation. Methods. A qualitative phenomenological study with an inductive, descriptive research approach based on Giorgi's descriptive method was used. Data were gathered through 12 dyadic family interviews. The COnsolidated criteria for REporting Qualitative research checklist was followed while conducting the study. Results. Three major themes emerged: emotional differences, changes in family life, and uncertainty about the future. Atrial fibrillation had multiple effects on the family. Frequently, several adjustments and adaptations had to be made to accommodate life with atrial fibrillation. Conclusion. Patients with atrial fibrillation and their family members feel a need to talk about their emotions and worries. They required support and guidance to manage the challenges of living with atrial fibrillation. These results will be used in a family-focused intervention designed to support families in adjusting and managing their everyday lives with atrial fibrillation.

TidsskriftNursing Research and Practice
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2022

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